Take a best-selling young adult book series, display a seemingly perfect couple, add in a few action scenes, and create two movies from the one final book, and you have created the newest multimillion-dollar movie franchise in Hollywood.
Alone, the movies in the series may turn out to be fun, but this formula, and the movies created with it, have become all too predictable.
“Allegiant” is based, loosely, on the final book in the “Divergent” book trilogy by Veronica Roth. The first two movies in the series, “Divergent” and “Insurgent,” strayed far from Roth’s original plot, and “Allegiant” is no different.
“Insurgent” left off with the characters discovering that there might be life outside the city, knowledge that had previously been withheld.
In “Allegiant,” Four (Theo James), Tris (Shailene Woodley), along with Tris’ brother, Caleb (Ansel Elgort), their loudmouthed friend Peter (Miles Teller), and their stylist-turned-rebel friend Christina (Zoe Kravitz) finally escape Chicago, where they had been trapped during the first two movies, and they find that there really is a world outside. They learn that what had been America was destroyed, and only a few shiny, high-tech cities were able to be rebuilt.
In places where the book’s message of being weary of overpowering governments could have easily fit in to “Allegiant,” there were only unnecessary sci-fi and overdone action scenes. The five rebel teens escape from the city with a bang – shooting guns, blowing up cars, and running for their lives. One of them is killed right as they reach the top of the wall, leaving only four of them to venture out.
They make their escape into a bombed-out landscape boasting only crimson mud and dirty, radioactive ponds. Then out of nowhere, futuristic aircraft appear to save them, and they are carried to a science facility based in what was O’Hare Airport.
They soon find out that their whole lives were spent participating in a genetic experiment, and everyone except Tris is “damaged” by the faulty genetic modifications of their ancestors. This leads to tension among the four escapees, but the topic is dropped from the story more quickly than it probably should have been.
The action parts of “Allegiant” movie are thrilling, but the excitement ends there. Four and Tris are always ready for combat at a second’s notice, turning around to kill others in order to save each other. The rest of the scenes are dragged out in order for there to be enough material for two movies.
Tris, who is supposed to be the strong female lead, seems to spend more time on-screen either arguing with or kissing her sinewy boyfriend rather than actually trying to save her friends and her city. Escaping the city seemed like the subplot to the teen romance.
Half of “Allegiant” seems incomplete. The conflict back in Chicago is barely shown, and it is over almost as quickly as it starts. An entire war happens in what takes up merely a few minutes of the movie.
Character development in the movie is nonexistent, and the sameness of the characters is incredibly boring. Over the course of three movies, the society changes drastically, but somehow the people in it stay exactly the same, perpetuating stereotypes with extremely cliche lines.
The script of the movie is so predictable it is almost cringe-worthy, and hardly any line is spoken that can not be guessed by the audience. This only adds to the flatness of a movie that came from such a compelling novel.
While the book brings forward powerful messages about overly powerful government and acceptance, the movie seems only to convey that Four and Tris are, in fact, dating, and that killing people is bad – unless, of course, you’re doing it to protect your girlfriend.
Catherine Reed is a freshman at Orchard Park High School.